Cleaners the unsung heroes of COVID-19 frontline workers
CLEANERS could be the unsung heroes of the coronavirus epidemic, working harder and longer than ever before to ensure extreme hygiene standards in Gladstone.
Domestic Bliss Total Solutions owner Lisa McDade has a crew of 12 cleaners and said as soon as COVID-19 hit, she extensively researched the virus and developed products and techniques for her staff.
"When coronavirus first started we thought it might be an opportunity. We were hoping to get in and do some thorough virus cleaning," she said.
"I investigated how the virus was spread, how long it lasts on surfaces and the best ways and products to clean with.
"Some clients jumped on the bandwagon and said 'we have to protect our staff' so they needed daily cleaning rather than a weekly clean.
"It was impossible to get alcohol wipes, so I developed my own by researching the product and diluting isopropyl alcohol to the correct concentration.
"So we upped the ante with gloves, masks and alcohol wipes, which were initially extremely hard to get."
Stockland Gladstone centre manager Diana Mitchell said contractors Spotless cleaners had to adopt new techniques and methods since the onset of COVID-19.
"Our cleaning team have always been an integral part of our centre operations, working hard to help protect the safety and wellbeing of our customers, retailers and staff," she said.
"Their scope of work and focus has predictably changed with the impacts of the COVID-19 situation, which includes increased levels of detailed cleaning to all high touch point areas and amenities.
"This includes our lift, handrails and hire equipment such as wheelchairs and scooters."
Increased focus on hand washing had also increased cleaners' workload at Stockland Gladstone.
"Our cleaning team also ensures that hand sanitiser and soap is readily available so customers are able to practise proper personal hygiene while completing their shopping," Ms Mitchell said.
"We value the work that our cleaners do and thank them for their continued time and service in making Stockland Gladstone safe for all."
Applauding the efforts of her team, Ms McDade said the virus had brought on a new focus, levels of stress and workload.
"We do all the hot spots, anywhere that's been touched, kitchens, bathrooms, benches, and paying more attention to doors, handles and stairways," she said.
"Working harder under stress and working in an environment where you think you could either take in an infection or be infected from being at work has been stressful for the girls."